Review: 2011 Topps MLB Sticker Collection

I went to the store the other day for some bubble mailers and I saw some of these 2011 Topps MLB Sticker Collection packs and the sticker book that comes with it and thought, why not? For $1 per pack and $2 for the sticker book it was a cheap thrill that lasted longer then opening most boxes because I had to peel the sticker and find the spot for it to go.

Then I was thinking, hey, it’s a sports card product right? Why not review it? So I brought out my trusty camera, took out my sticker book, and snapped some photos for those who may be interested in trying to put this set together whether you 8 or 50 years old. Just don’t stick a card in the wrong spot in the sticker book, so you have to know your numbers to be able to do this correctly. Or those who can’t put stickers inside the lines like I apparently can’t in the photos below. It’s my big hands! I swear it to you!

Base:

Teams:

Legends:

Design:

While the sticker design looks average at best, the foils looked great. The team and legends stickers are foil cards and not only look better, they feel like better quality stickers when you peel them and place them in your sticker book. And speaking of the sticker book, I actually really like the design of that myself. The interior pages are colorful and provide a great color photograph of a star on your favorite team.

Checklist:

Now this is a big checklist, but is it too big for a sticker book? It contains all the stars of your favorite players at 9 per team, all the team logo stickers, and 9 legend stickers. As this product is mainly focused towards children, will they be trying to complete the set this size? Either way, it’s great for low end set collectors as it provides a challenge to put together or great for kids.

Value:

How can you not give this value a 5 stars? $1 per pack of stickers gives you a ton of stickers and $2 just for the book itself isn’t bad either. There isn’t any frills or anything with this product like other sticker products, but it doesn’t really need it for what the product is and who the target audience is. It may be harder to get the older crowd involved in stickers, but sometimes you gotta go back and just do something for the kids and this does a great job of bringing kids back into collecting.

Overall:

Is it just me or do you feel kind of weird walking into a store and grabbing packs of stickers and a sticker book at 25 years old? This product is definitely designed for kids, but I can see adults picking up this product as a fun set to put together whether they stick the stickers in the book or just collect the stickers. At $1 per pack and $2 for the book you aren’t going to break the bank putting this set together and the foils really stand out, although they are harder to get. I would of liked to see maybe a foil variation of the base card to mix things up a bit, but overall, a solid product.

Poor Pedroia, he has no Red Sox to be stuck on him.

Review: 2010-11 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

The Gold Standard has arrived by Panini. This product is one of those single pack products that tries to bring the boom with every hit. Not only are there great possibilities for autographs in this product, you can pull cards either with a piece of gold embedded into them or pull a card made entirely of gold itself. This product redefines value in terms of adding actual gold to cards. I think it’s a cool idea, which is why I was excited to receive a box in the mail to review for you guys.

2011 Panini Gold Standard basketball is one pack with 12 cards per pack. The first thing I noticed was how amazing the packaging is. If I could give a rating for design of packaging, that would be 5 stars. It looks like a gold bar. Nothing denotes a product based on gold then having gold bar packaging! Let’s get to the goods from what I pulled.

Base:

Inserts:

Autographs/Memorabilia:

Design:

Some of you may like the design and others will hate it. I love it and think it looks great. I think you may only hate it if you haven’t held the cards live in your hands as they look great in person. The inserts look just as good as the base and I enjoyed all the gold themed inserts. The Gold Record is solid but I love the gold insert with the team ring up top in the corner and the year the player won the title. Finally, I actually like the use of sticker autographs in this product. I like how they used a gold background to give it that gold look and may even look best that way. The only thing I don’t like is the manufactured patches in this high end of a product. Meh.

Checklist:

The checklist is solid all around. You can pull anyone from some of the top rookies to Kobe Bryant and even some great Hall of Famers like I did. David Robinson! There are always a few duds mixed in there but I think overall you have a better chance at pulling something decent then you do not pulling something decent. Rookies, veterans, hall of famers, very good retired players…overall there is something for everyone in this product in all the insert sets. No complaints here as there are a ton of different hits for each player.

Value:

In my opinion, there are a couple of things that really hurt the value of this product. One being manufactured patches. Why would you put manufactured patches like that in a high end product like this? Sure they are gold threaded, but it’s just not the place to be putting those types of cards. Again, take the autograph off the cloth and I would like them a lot more and find more value in them. Secondly, plain game used cards. I received two plain game used cards. I believe in a product that is priced this high you have to guarantee at least one patch. Patches are the standard nowadays when it comes to higher priced products so this just needs to be guaranteed here. I don’t mind one regular swatch, but make one a patch.

Overall:

Some of you are going to completely hate me for my overall grade and some are going to agree with me. That’s only the nature of the beast with this product. If my camera wouldn’t have died taking photographs at the 3 on 3 Portland Trailblazers Street Jam, I would of showed you some of the reactions from people around the area whom I showed the cards to. Most were very impressed and some of the kids who were watching from a distance while I was taping were impressed too. I told them to meet up with me tomorrow and I’d give them some cards. I’m a nice guy. But am I being too nice with my review here? I really don’t think so. Despite the couple of things I didn’t like, I really found this to be a great and fun product to break.

As for the contest to win some cards here, I am going to combine it with my next review and have a super big contest for a bunch of cards. Stay tuned for how to win that!

This video was live from the 1977 NBA Champion Portland Trailblazers court assembled outside the “glass palace” known as the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon. Have fun.

Review: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter

It’s hard to believe but this is my first baseball card review. I love baseball cards and I love baseball. The first cards I ever collected were baseball cards. The first boxes of cards that got me back into the hobby in 2005 were baseball cards. I own more baseball cards then anything else. But I’m happy that 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter is my first baseball review because I have always loved Allen & Ginter since Topps brought it back from the dead in 2006.

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter has brought back the success of previous years in one of the most interesting and beloved sets of the year. From baseball players to famous beards and ships, Allen & Ginter is your source of both America’s past time and oddball cards that you can’t find anywhere else. With tons of minis and different types of short prints, it is a set collectors dream. With a large checklist of both sports and non-sports it is just a sports fan’s dream as well.

Base:

Inserts:

Relics:

Rip Card!!!

Design:

Sometimes practically the same design year after year is a good thing. When you’re going for the nostalgic, old school type set and basing your cards off that set, you still have to pay homage to the past. The sketches of the player with the splash of color in the background is what it has always been and that is classic. No frills or anything fancy here, just solid art work on these cards all around. I’ve always loved what they do with the relics as well and that is to put them in a larger frame that usually has like palm trees or something on it in nice colors. Every autographed card is hard signed and rip cards are fun and easy to rip. Nothing new, but sometimes new isn’t always better. Oh, and the Ascent of Man inserts are absolutely GORGEOUS.

Checklist:

I find this product extremely hard to review as far as the checklist goes. You have all the baseball players you need in this product. There are a number of SPs which is great and Ginter backs and Bazooka backs and black parallels. It’s fun to pull the parallels. The famous beards cards was pretty funny and I love the old school famous ships. Some of the people they chose from the world of entertainment, especially in the autographs area is the hard part though. There are some huge name on there, but also names which make you scratch your head. I might as well sign some cards for Topps if they are letting people like Chuck Woolery or the King of Cornhole. Which begs me to ask Topps to let me have some autographs in Ginter next year. I bet my cards would sell better on the secondary market then Jo Frost because I know what collectors like. My inscriptions would be epic. Just saying. Think Olbermann and Hayhurst combined.

Value:

The autograph ratio compared to relics this year is crazy and collation was terrible. If you are going to decrease the number of autographs then drop the price of the box as that is where things get expensive. The relics while nice, are just the same thing as every other product in baseball and Allen & Ginter in the past. Small relics that won’t fetch much on secondary market unless it’s a top celebrity like Shawn Michaels or Manny Pacquiao. The insert ratio of the major hits inside rip cards has been terrible as well. The product has been out a week and no one has seen a mini autograph or really any wood parallels or sketches yet. I know they are 1/1s and the reds are numbered very low but where are they? Maybe people just aren’t ripping the rip cards?

Overall:

Again, it’s hard to review something so beloved and at the same time such a wide range of different types of cards you can pull. The design is nothing new, but keeping it old is what the product is and you can’t change that for anything. The checklist is both jaw dropping and head scratching at the same time. Again, I’m going to make my play into the market next year as an Allen & Ginter signer because I think mine would be more interesting then half of the people chosen to sign this year. Not many people would know who I am, but I would make it collectible. Seriously, who wants Jo Frost or even knew who Jo Frost was and collected sports cards? Not really the target market. The collation problems and the lack of autographs while maintaining a higher price is kind of a disappointment as well. But there is nothing we can do about that. This product is often sold by the case because of how much people love it.

So here’s a pretty video of me opening my box of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter and you can see my reactions as I pull cards. This box will also be used for my 2011 Gint-A-Cuffs submission and hopefully I beat a couple other bloggers out there. But I will post more about my score when the scoring rubric is released.

Videos coming up shortly, uploading to the YouTube. You get to see me try and pronounce Penultimacy with my slight stutter. Not a pretty sight.